Reports suggest that BT will soon announce that they are ramping up their £12 billion investment programme
According to reports, BT’s CEO Philip Jansen is set to announce a boost to the company’s fibre rollout programme, increasing coverage in remote and rural areas.
The announcement is expected later this week, coinciding with the publication of the company’s full-year financial results.
Exactly how BT’s plans are set to change is unclear. An acceleration could equate to the rollout target dates being brought forward or the total number of premises targeted being increased.
Currently, BT’s £12 billion investment programme aims to cover 20 million UK premises with fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) by the mid-to-late 2020s. Openreach has thus far passed 4.5 million premises with fibre, aiming to increase this figure to 5.8 million by September this year.
Part of this planned acceleration can be ascribed to the favourable regulatory and government policy environment that has developed over the past few months. Back in March, Ofcom announced its long-awaited Market Review, with the lack of price caps
announced being a major positive step for BT, helping them to ensure that they get an adequate return on their fibre investment. Similarly, the government’s Budget 2021 includes various tax deductions that BT will be able to take advantage of.
Jansen had previously said that if conditions were right then BT would “build like fury
” and it seems we may soon find out exactly what he meant.
BT itself is currently going through a process of cost cutting that aims to save the company £2 billion by 2025. The strategy shift has resulted in thousands of job cuts, which has resulted in BT being threatened with industrial action
from unionised workers.
Meanwhile, BT is also looking to offload BT Sport
, with the broadcasting business proving expensive and generating little profit for the business. Funds from any potential sale would presumably be reinvested into BT’s various network rollouts, both of fibre and 5G.
Can the UK operators achieve the government’s ambitious broadband targets in the coming years? Find out what the experts have to say at this year’s live Connected Britain event
Also in the news: